WASHINGTON (June 1, 2004) -- Today a federal judge in the Northern District of California declared the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in violation of Roe v. Wade in a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Challenges against the Act are also pending in federal courts in New York and Nebraska.
"Once again a federal judge has declared that Roe v. Wade stands for the right to kill a child in the process of being born," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., spokesperson for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.
"The American Medical Association says this procedure is never medically necessary," said Ruse. "To say that it is a fundamental constitutional right makes a mockery of the Constitution."
Trial testimony from abortion doctors included astonishingly frank descriptions of aborting children in the fifth and sixth months of pregnancy.
Dr. Maureen Paul of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate was asked under oath what comes next once the baby is delivered to the point where the head lodges in the cervix: "Well, there are two things you can do. You can disarticulate at the neck, or what I prefer to do is to just reach in with my forceps and collapse the skull and bring the fetus out intact," she said.
Further testimony in California revealed the child's heart is still beating before forceps are used to crush the skull. A pain specialist in the California trial, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, said, "There will be pain caused to the fetus. And I believe it will be severe and excruciating pain."
"Partial-birth abortion promises nothing but pain, for everyone involved," said Ruse. "There is no place in a civilized society for this cruel and dangerous practice."
"We encourage and anticipate an appeal of this ruling," she said.